People in entertainment, wedding industry hopeful on Gov. Ige’s announcement to loosen restrictions


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Many people in the entertainment and wedding industries are eagerly waiting to get back to work. After over a year, the doors are still closed at The Republik where hundreds of concerts have been held.

With Gov. David Ige’s anticipated announcement on Friday, Oct. 8, live event organizers are hopeful COVID restrictions will change.

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On Facebook, Gov. Ige said in a post:

Now that we’re seeing a lower number of cases and hospitalized patients, I’m optimistic that by the end of this week we can announce that we will begin lifting some of those restrictions, while keeping the health and safety of our loved ones, a top priority. I know many of you are ready to get back to normal, and we’re taking steps to get there.

Gov. David Ige via Facebook post

BAMP Project said restrictions possibly being lifted is music to their ears.

“Hopefully we get some kind of guidance on what the restrictions are going to be, whether that’s full capacity, vaccinated only, negative COVID test or whatever the guidance is — we’re just happy to do it,” said Matthew Hazelgrove, BAMP Project and the Republik co-owner.

For one couple getting ready to tie the knot in December, they were ready to cut down their guest list. Now, they are holding onto hope that things will go according to plan.

“We even scheduled our wedding a year in advance to when we thought was going to be OK, but still, it’s up and down everyday,” said Jordan Tanioka, a soon-to-be newlywed.

“We have so many people coming from out-of-state, and so they need to know because they need to know if they need to book their flights or cancel them,” said Erin Oldham, a soon-to-be newlywed. “So, we can’t really have everything up in the air anymore. We need a decision.”

The Oahu Wedding Association also hopes the governor will expand gathering restrictions for structured events.

“If we could get 100 people that would be — if we could get, you know, 150 or 200 — that would be amazing, really something that we can work with you know; 10 indoors and 25 is really hard when you include vendors,” said Tessa Gomes, with Fred and Kate Evens and the Oahu Wedding Association.

With Hawaii’s COVID cases on the decline, health officials said it only makes sense to relax the rules.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

“We also need to send a signal that larger gatherings, if vaccinated, we should go forward. It’s time to restore some normalcy,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

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